When it comes to history’s greatest composers, Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849) is right up there with Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert. In this lesson, I present, as a tribute to Chopin, my two-guitar arrangement of one of his most celebrated solo piano works, the slow and hauntingly beautiful “Prelude in E Minor, Opus 28, Number 4.”
Last month, I presented a neat formula for generating two unusual and exotic hexatonic (six-note) scales. I’d now like to show you how altering only one note in one of these triads produces a different and profoundly mysterious and otherworldly sounding hexatonic scale.
I’d now like to present a neat twist on the formula of forging major and minor scales into other scales, one that yields two hauntingly beautiful hexatonics, both of which could serve as useful resources whenever you’re looking to create a mysterious, exotic musical mood.
As I will demonstrate, this modal relationship between the two scales is very convenient and useful for crafting sweet-sounding melodies over a C-to-D or D-to-C chord vamp. But first, some more helpful insight into D Mixolydian hexatonic.
In the previous two String Theory columns (March and April 2015 issues), I introduced a pair of hexatonic (six-note) scales that are comprised of the same six notes and may be thought of as opposing sides of the same musical coin—the dark, serious-sounding E minor hexatonic (E F# G A B D) and its one useful mode, the beautifully bright D major hexatonic (D E F# G A B).
I’d now like to turn you onto another interesting and appealing hexatonic scale that shares five of these scales’ six notes, C Lydian hexatonic.
Last month I presented the six-note E minor hexatonic scale (E F# G A B D), which has a dark, serious quality that’s ideal for creating a pensive, reflective mood.
I’d now like to turn you on to another, equally appealing and useful hexatonic scale (depending on your musical tastes), one that is comprised of the very same notes, which would qualify it as a mode, but sounds completely different—beautifully bright and joyous—and that is D major hexatonic (D E F# G A B).
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the March 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.
A while back, I came across a book of traditional bluegrass and old-timey fiddle tunes, which intrigued and inspired me. I had always enjoyed the sound of those upbeat, “honest” folk melodies, with their sprightly contours and swinging eighth-note rhythms, despite their harmonic simplicity—the vast majority of the tunes are based on “one-four-five”-type major-key chord progressions.
Last month, I presented an original 16-bar solo played over the chord changes to tenor saxophonist John Coltrane’s jazz standard “Giant Steps.”
This month, I offer a second 16-bar chorus of single-note soloing that introduces another cool melodic device, arpeggio substitution, or superimposition, which can be used to modify the sound of the underlying chord qualities and make them sound more “modern” and “fusion-y.”
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the Holiday 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.